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Word of God: The Feast of All Saints

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POHS: Part Two

But He answered and said, “’It is written, `MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’? (Matt 4:4)

Jesus’ rejoinder to the voice of the enemy during His testing in the wilderness has always been taught as a model for how we ought to deal with satanic tactics of deception and assault in our lives—and well it should be.

The Word of God is more than just the pages of Scripture. Note that when Jesus said that we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, He does not relegate the proceeding to a once-and-for-all act. God is still speaking to us through the Scriptures and still illuminating His Word to us as we meditate on it.

For those who insist that God speaks only through His word, such a claim is ridiculous at best. Every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth is not merely the words from Genesis to Revelation but whatever else He chooses to speak to us circumstantially. Even Jesus said of the Holy Spirit:

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:13-14)

Think of a time when you were in your office or at home minding your own business. Suddenly, it comes to you to call a friend. You are not sure why that thought even came up but it will not leave you. Finally, you call that person, only to find out that he or she has been struggling in some area of their faith and they are AMAZED that you called.

That’s not you; that’s the HOLY SPIRIT speaking to you so that He could minister a word in due season to a needy saint.

The Word of God gives us the parameters by which we judge what we hear but the God of the Word must never be confined exclusively to His Word.

Walking in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit is ever important for the Church, especially in times like these when all our talk seems to fall on deaf ears in today’s culture. If the Church is going to be about the business of making disciples and building the kingdom of God, then the Church must feed on the Word of God for its strength and sustenance.

The major problem that we have today is that denominationalism and sectarianism has turned the word of the Lord into little specialized menus where one can pick and choose what he or she will imbibe. You can have the experience-driven, sign-seeking menu where only the charismatic gifts of the Spirit are taught and any silly distraction like gold flakes can distract from the Cross.

For others, there is the intellectual Jesus who stresses the dogmatics of the faith and the necessity of sound doctrine while lacking any experience of such truths as well as the Author of those truth. Simply put: the Holy Spirit becomes nothing more than a lifeless creedal refrain to be recited during a worship gathering.

If we are to be an effective Church, then we must take in and apply the whole counsel of God’s Word to our lives. Furthermore, we would do well to avoid the kind of junk food diet of “bless me, bless me now? the American church has all but swallowed without counting the cost to follow Christ.

What God desires are soldiers of the Cross willing to allow for self-inflicted piercing where the word cuts us asunder to heal and deliver us and conform us into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; Heb. 4:12).

What a shame it is for a hungry person to stumble into the midst of a group of people claiming to have the bread of Life yet when that starving person asks for bread, that group cannot give it because they themselves have not taken it in.

Church: the Body is weak and our cupboards are bare. We are being weighed and found wanting by the Spirit of God.

We must feast on the Word of God and listen hard for the voice of God as He illuminates and directs us as we operate as His ambassadors. We are children and He is our Father and the Lover of our souls. I end with the words of Tozer:

I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. The prophets habitually said, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ They meant their hearers to understand that God’s speaking is in the continuous present. We may use the past tense properly to indicate that at a certain time a certain word of God was spoken, but a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken, as a child once born continues to be alive, or a world once created continues to exist. And those are but imperfect illustrations, for children die and worlds burn out, but the Word of our God endureth forever.
If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which you may push around at your convenience. It is more than a thing, it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God. Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, ‘Speak, for thy servant heareth.’ Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy Voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking Voice. Amen. [1]

Solo Christo

More Resources on the Word:

“How to Read Your Bible” (F.B. Meyer)

“Reading the Bible For Life Change” (Terry Powell)

“The Practice of Pondering” (Jean Fleming)
___________________________________
[1] A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.

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Written by missional girl

October 28, 2005 at 5:01 pm

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